In this article, you will learn what omega-3 fatty acids are, why you need them, and how you can be vegetarian and still attain optimum levels of omega-3 in your body. (Hint: we will be talking a lot about chia seeds health benefits!).
Omega-3 fatty acids are not produced or synthesized by the body, but we need them to maintain an option level of fitness, health and well-being. They are crucial for normal metabolism. Research shows a link between omega-3 consumption and lowered risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
Many people eat fish, which are extremely high in these fatty acids. However, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you don’t eat fish and will not be able to get your omega-3 fatty acids in this way. Many people take fish oil supplements if they do not eat fish, but obviously, this is also out for vegetarians and vegans.
Problem: how can vegetarians get enough omega-3 fatty acids to stay healthy?
Solution: chia seeds.
Health benefits of chia include omega-3. In fact, this ancient seed is the highest plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids! No small feat considering it’s up against such omega-3 powerhouses such as flax, radish seeds, bok choi, and spinach.
Even if you are not vegetarian, you may prefer chia over fish oil supplements, as you can avoid that unpleasant fishy smell. Also, chia has dozens of other health benefits in addition to being high in omega-3 fatty acids.
In addition to omega-3, the other big thing that may interest vegetarians is that chia seeds health benefits include protein. As vegetarians we have to be careful to get enough protein through beans, tofu, vegetables, and pulses; chia is an easy way of making sure we get protein every day without fail, since it is so easy to add to whatever we are eating. Chia is a complete protein, which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids in the correct proportions for human consumption.
Adding chia health benefits to your vegetarian diet is easy. Here are a few suggestions:.
Sprinkle chia over your breakfast cereal or stir it into porridge or pancake batter.
Enjoy a fresh salad with chia salad dressing, or a sandwich using chia butter.
Prepare your family’s favorite casseroles, stews, soups, or pies – just stir a handful of chia into the recipe, before or after cooking!